It’s a bit late to be doing a WWDC follow-up, but better late than never. Alex and I were invited to give a talk about Dojo several months ago, as was Sam Stephenson of Prototype. Since we’re not really allowed to talk about anything tech from the talk that isn’t public, I thought it would be interesting instead to describe in very light detail what happens behind the scenes when giving a talk at WWDC.
First off, Apple puts on an amazingly high quality conference. They put more effort into the details than I’ve experienced at any conference. While not as chic as Office 2.0 (a.k.a. free iPods instead of paper calendars), the amount of attention they took to make our presentation quality be top notch was extremely helpful. It’s also the only conference I can remember where I bought trinkets (in this case Apple pens, keychains, and water bottles).
After Alex pulled several heroic late nights to get a few last minute demos ready to show off the latest in Dojo 0.9, we spent most of Thursday in the speaker ready room making last minute tweaks to the talk. With Dojo 0.9 not quite ready, it was a mad scramble to finish the demos, and we ended up punting on one which we hope is ready soon: Dojo Offline + Google Gears + WordPress.
We arrived at our talk to see a line with at least 200 people queued up. We were treated to a rather nice stage for our talk, with at least 4 machines at our disposal for running various demos, a nice screen to view our talk while looking at the crowd (though we both still had a tendency to look back at the big screen). In my mind I was thinking about the Coldplay concert I went to last year, and decided that I need some better moves on stage rather than looking back at the screen with my hands in my pockets.
I let Alex take the lead on much of the talk, because the talk was mostly about 0.9 and Alex has been doing a phenomenal job leading that effort. In addition to talking about Dojo Offline and a few other sections of the talk, Apple let me speak the infamous “One More Thing” line at the end, to which Apple added a few slides about information that will be available very soon about some sort of quietly announced mobile device they have created.
It was one of the better talks we have done, mostly because we have a lot of interesting things to talk about with 0.9. Also, Apple did a really good job encouraging us to put effort into the talk (and by us I mean mostly Alex), and making us look good. The rumors of Apple being difficult to deal with in preparing for a talk are completely false.
We met several people including two of the main people behind the SVG recommendation (Antoine Quint and Dean Jackson, now of Joost and Apple, respectively), and of course Sam Stephenson and members of the WebKit team.
Thanks again to Apple for inviting us (in particular Stephanie and George), and to the several hundred people that listened to us talk about Dojo for more than an hour.